Monday, July 20, 2009

Santa María de Guadalupe & the Arbol de la Noché Triste

In a February 1853 letter home from Mexico, Henri talks about a number sites he has visited around Mexico City, namely Otumba and Guadalupe.

He says "I went two times to Otumba to admire the beautiful cedar under which Cortés rested after the combat of the Noché Triste. It is a venerable old tree, with a huge base and a crown that has suffered over the years with many parts having died back. From there I went to Guadalupe, to see the beautiful church of Santa María where people come on pilgrimage from many distant points within this vast republic. We found a natural mineral spring in the chapel, where the water is said to be blessed."

Arbol de la Noché Triste

Basilica de Santa María de Guadalupe

From Central and South America, Augutus Henry Keane, 1901
Another historical tree that of Cortés Noché Triste stands near an old church in the village of Popotla on the road to Guadalupe At the foot of this tree a species of cedar still 40 feet high Cortes is said to have passed a sad night bemoaning his misfortunes after the disastrous retreat of the Spaniards during the night of the evacuation The famous sanctuary of Guadalupe which is still resorted to by thousands of devotees commemorates a popular legend about the apparition of the Madonna to an Indian ordering him to have a shrine erected on the spot and confirming the message by miraculous incidents.

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